Two motorists were injured Tuesday, one seriously, in a head-on collision just south of Beaumont possibly triggered by one of the drivers going the wrong way in lanes while trying to pass slower traffic.
The crash happened about 7:55 a.m. on Highway 79, between Gilman Springs and Lamb Canyon roads, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Witnesses told the agency that a white sedan drove into oncoming morning commute traffic and slammed into a Buick.
The impact spread wreckage across all lanes and left the victim in the Buick trapped, according to the CHP.
Riverside County Fire Department crews extricated the critically injured driver, who was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley for treatment.
The driver of the white sedan suffered moderate injuries and was also taken to the hospital.
Southbound lanes on the 79 were shut down until 9 a.m. while a preliminary investigation was conducted and the wreckage cleared.